Beloved pets set in stone
WHEREVER animal lover Sue Rogers goes, her two dogs and a cat go with her. This is no mean feat considering they have all been dead for several years.
Miss Rogers, 44, has had the ashes of her three pets transformed into a £3,200 diamond ring.
The remains of Lucky, an Old English Sheepdog, Sam a Golden Retriever cross and Patch the cat used to sit on the mantelpiece at her home in Bideford, North Devon.
But when Miss Rogers discovered LifeGem UK - a company which makes diamonds from the remains of humans and pets - she handed over her three precious urns to the experts.
Scientists in the USA took a small amount of carbon from each set of ashes and heated it to 3,000C in a crucible.
Other chemicals were added to encourage the carbon atoms to attract each other, producing a rough diamond within two weeks. This was then cut, polished and certified before being sent back to England where it was set in a gold band.
“I am delighted with my ring as it means I can have my pets with me at all times,” said Miss Rogers, who owns a bingo hall. “My animals meant the world to me and even though they are gone they are still with me.
“It is a beautiful ring and such a brilliant idea.”
Lucky was the first of her pets to die, from a heart defect in 1995.
Two years later his ashes were joined by Sam’s when he lost his battle with cancer. Miss Rogers’s latest loss came in 2003 when Patch died suddenly.
“I chose a blue diamond because it’s Lucky’s birth colour and very personal to me,” she said. “I decided on a ring as it is the safest piece of jewellery - I am always losing earrings.
“I worked extra hours so I could pay to have all their ashes turned into the memorial diamond. It was completely worth it, it’s just beautiful.”
She added: “I was absolutely devastated when Lucky died. He was a pedigree and I’d had him since he was a pup. We even shared the same birthday.
“The final agony came when Patch died as he was only a youngster. I was heartbroken.”
Miss Rogers currently has four pet cats and when they pass on she is planning to have their ashes turned into another diamond.
“I just hope they don’t die for many years,” she said.
Synthetic diamonds have been produced for decades, but the creation of stones from the ashes of pets or humans is a relatively new concept in the UK.
David Hampson, chief executive for LifeGem UK, said combining three pets into a stone was an unusual request.
“We can turn any animal or combination of animals into a diamond as long as they have a skeleton or hair. I don’t think we would be able to do a pet goldfish but we can do rabbits, cats, dogs, horses and of course humans.
“Miss Rogers was delighted with her ring and has sent us letters of thanks.”